The menacing stack of papers, and all of the problems that accompany them, have been pushed aside at the University of Michigan Health System.
The institution has finished installing an online order entry system that is drastically reducing errors that are often the result of paper shuffling. This three-year computer-based project has reduced medical errors by 29 percent and has cut 40 percent of the time between ordering and administering urgent medications.
UM-CareLink was designed to improve the quality and safety of inpatient care by eliminating everyday errors and streamlining a once cumbersome paper-based system. It allows physicians, nurses and technicians to order laboratory tests, procedures, medications, and nutrition services online from any computer. It also simplifies workflow and allows caregivers to receive immediate information about a patient's allergies, possible drug interactions and other personalized information.
"This has been a massive undertaking in the U-M Health System," says Douglas L. Strong, chief executive officer of U-M Hospitals and Health Centers. "Every day, tens of thousands of orders are written, carried out and documented in our three hospitals and major hospital-based treatment areas. In just a few years, we have successfully moved all of those handwritten orders online."
The system is part of an effort to completely digitize medical records and other related paperwork.
Source: University of Michigan
Writer: Jon Zemke